A great exposure to a different culture. Past Review

By (Advertising, The University of Texas at Austin) - abroad from 06/01/2016 to 07/29/2016 with

AIFS: Paris - Cours de Civilisation Française de la Sorbonne

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Making mistakes is the key to really learning! And yes, it was definitely worth it.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

All my professors were patient, helpful, and engaging in the classroom. Students also participated thoroughly which made it an overall wonderful learning environment.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Each one of the staff members were extremely personable and made very effort to make themselves available for anything the students needed. Couldn't have asked for anything better from them!

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I had a lovely host family who had hosted 6 times in the past, so they were well prepared for everything. They were extremely kind and helpful, and gave me and my roommate the freedom to do use the kitchen fully. We shared the bathroom with the family. We had no restrictions on when we could go and come back so that was great! Our location was also in a great neighborhood in paris

* Food:

I made salads at home and when i went out I was also able to find vegetarian options for myself -- although they weren't always the greatest tasting things, it was still available. there are definitely options for veg/vegan eaters in paris. For breakfast, my host family provided OJ every morning along with some french pastries/bread.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Obviously since i dont speak the language fluently it can be hard to always feel fully integrated in the community, but if you're willing to put in the effort to go out there and ou tof your comfort zone, its a great learning experience. Having more French friends probably wouldve helped me feel more involved.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't need to use my insurance plan but they were easily accessible if need be.

* Safety:

Like any other large urban city, common sense and alertness will keep you safe. I never came home past 1am but even then, the paris metro is fast and efficient. I never felt unsafe in the city, personally.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

I loved that I was surrounded by international students and got to meet people from around the world. The professors were also fantastic.


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

If you manage it well, it's really not that hard to stick to a budget. The only times it can get expensive is when/if you go out with friends often, but you can control the number of times you do that.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? approx 50 euros for food/wk, and miscellaneous expenses were shopping and travel.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? keep track! use excel, or just write down what you're spending. Its easy to forget.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

We always spoke in French in the classroom.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Intermediate
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? Intermediate French
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Watch movies, talk to people, make mistakes, and dont be afraid to ask for help.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Host Family
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • International Students in class
  • Friendly staff
  • the city itself
* What could be improved?
  • Cost of the program could be lowered
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? n/a

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'